On the Shore

by - 23 September


This is another poem I wrote a few years ago that I hid away and want to share in my efforts to encourage myself to write more poems. I can't wait to share them with you.

On the Shore' is inspired by Jonan Christian Dahl's painting, 'A Mother and Child by the Sea' (1840). I wrote this poem after seeing this painting and instantly imagined the time when men would go out to war and women and children would anticipate their arrival.

On the shore a girl screamed “Papa Papa”
Papa was still a long distance away.
Standing on the rocky coastal ground
The child would lose her balance,
Her mother lay one hand on her shoulder
The firm and heavy grip did not faze her
And she pointed “Papa”.

The clouds closed their doors
The boat moved towards them, motionless
Later seemed blown about by the wind.
The glassy sea reflected the dying sun
Let hope ripple through.
The boat lay at a rest stop in the sea.

The dirt-ridden sail flapped, the boat made a movement,
A sigh spread across the sea, the girl jumped “Papa”.

The clouds opened pink sunset
Revealing the mothers tresses
Her dress bunched up around the rocks
The flesh of it supple and young,
Its soft satin, prey to the sharp rocks.

The boat moved sideways
The sail resigned.
The mother moved her hand
Covered the child's face.
Underneath, the child squinted
Turned towards the blanket of the dress
“Mama”.

The painting is a calm evening on a rocky coastal landscape and sun's reflection is the little air of optimism in the painting. I imagined the mother nervous. I depicted the dark mood through my imagery acting as a catalyst to the eventual sinking of the boat, "The clouds closed their doors", the sun was "dying" and the reflection of the sun was "pushed about by the rocks".

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